Dougherty Police Chief Don Cheek, seen speaking to the Dougherty County Kiwanis Club in July 2012, announced Friday that he will retired Nov. 9, 2012. (Sept. 21, 2012)
ALBANY After career of more than 40 years of public service, Dougherty County Police Department Chief Don Cheek reluctantly announced his retirement Friday.
Chief for more than nine years with 41 years in law enforcement — including the Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office and other agencies — Cheek has set Nov. 9 as his last day at work. He said he has been diagnosed with leukemia and is retiring because of health reasons.
“Ever since the Army, it is all I have ever done — public service,” Cheek said. “I am privileged that my wife has been very supportive for all these years.”
Cheek continues to ride his motorcycle with his wife of 44 years, Donna, next to him on hers. He said he will remain active in the community, volunteering with the Patriot Guard Riders and the American Legion.
Speaking of his legacy, it is a characteristic of Cheek that he praises those with whom he worked, not himself.
“The best thing is seeing the quality of officers and the level of service that the department offers the public,” Cheek said. “The men and women of the department are dedicated to their service.”
Slowing down means a lifestyle change for Cheek, whose voice could be heard many times throughout his tenure on a police scanner directing his officers.
“We’ll be spending more time with our kids and grandkids. We hope to travel on the road a bit,” Cheek said. “But this is our home. We won’t be leaving.”